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The Daily Banter Mail Bag!! Boycotting Chick-Fil-A, Romney vs Bush and Voter Apathy!!!

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Welcome to this week's edition of The Daily Banter Mail Bag! Today we talk about boycotting Chick-Fil-A, whether it's acceptable not to vote for Obama this fall if you're a Democrat, and whether Romney is as bad as George W. Bush as a Presidential candidate.
The questions:
I like chick fil a and as much as I like gay me out here. What do I do?

Jason (ps I'm gay...)

Bob: Abandon Chick-Fil-A, if not for yourself, for others in the LGBT community who will be hurt by Chick-Fil-A's donations to various "pro-family" groups. I assure you, there are thousands of other places in which to get some decent chicken that's way better than that place. Check the phone book or Yelp or Chez's Facebook page for various restaurant suggestions. Seriously, fuck those people. Their chicken isn't *that* good.

Chez: Yeah, I kind of had the same problem. I'm not gay but obviously I don't want to give money to an organization that will then turn around and give it to groups like the Family Research Council, who basically work for a biblically approved America and who want to see homosexuality specifically stricken from society. I made the personal decision not to eat at Chick-fil-A. I'm not suggesting that anyone else abandon the restaurant and I'm certainly not ambitious enough to lead some kind of boycott, but it's just how I feel personally. Sorry, man, but you have to make the call for yourself. I'm a big fan of those chicken salad sandwiches, but for all I know it's the homophobia that makes it taste so good -- ergo, I'm out.

Ben Cohen: I have never actually heard of Chick-Fil-A, but after the whole anti gay hullabaloo, I won't be going there. However, I'm not sure if I would do the same for a restaurant I do like going to - and I'm trying to be honest here. A lot of companies are engaged in some horrifically shady behavior. I'm writing this on a Mac computer, and we all know how they treat their factory employees. I buy Nike shoes on occasion, and they aren't exactly good when it comes to paying their workers either. Everyone's a hypocrite in some regard, and I don't want to start lecturing people on what they should and shouldn't buy. I agree in concept with 'ethical buying' but it can become so complicated and difficult to discern exactly what that is, that the only way to be sure is to go and live in a forest and eat berries. And I'm not up for that.

Mitt Romney behavior abroad has seriously woken me up. This guy is such a f****g clown. How the hell can any American with the vaguest sense of civic responsibility not vote for Obama? It's so embarrassing as an American to see this type of behavior from a supposedly serious politician. Are there any reasons left to sit at home in November? Seriously? Please, let me know if there are any.
Sean P.

Chez: Don't even get me started.

Bob: Drone strikes! Sit at home because of drones! Then watch Romney get elected and use drones -- and real soldiers instead, so we're not just racking up collateral damage, we're also losing more soldiers. Get it? Anyone who thinks that staying home will change things is insane and should probably be ignored.

Ben: Um, no. I really can't think of any. I would urge anyone deep inside the Glenn Greenwald/Jane Hamsher militant anti Obama club to seriously think about what they are advocating when it comes to boycotting him this fall. I'm not a fan of many of Obama's policies, but there's a lot of stuff I do agree with him on. And there's literally nothing in Romney's 'Believe in America' plan that I find even mildly acceptable. It's basically a radical series of policies to completely dismantle what's left of government infrastructure and hand it over to private interests, destroy welfare and severely screw up an already highly dysfunctional healthcare system. Obama and the Democrats are literally the last thing left in America preventing the complete corporate take over of the country, and as much as they suck, they can still stop a huge amount of damage. Want to know how bad it could get? You already do. Look at what happened from 2000 to 20008.

I don't know why everyone is calling Romney the worst GOP candidate ever. The guy is a tool, but compared to GW, he's a saint. Do you seriously think it could get worse than 2000-2008? I'm not saying I'm voting for the guy but I think everyone's going a bit over board with the apocalyptic predictions. Romney is from Massachusetts for heavens sake. Hardcore Republicans don't even exist there.
Mike Lowell

Ben: The only reason I'm sounding the alarm bells when it comes to Mitt Romney is the state of the economy and fragility of the Middle East. He may not be the worst candidate in history, but he's highly dangerous given the current economic/political climate. In terms of charisma and talent, then yes, he's probably about the worst I can think of. Dubya was an idiot, but he was at least entertaining.

Bob: He's not the worst GOP candidate ever. Are you saying "worst" as in most dangerous or "worst" as in the most idiotic and pathetic? I think he's the most cynical and jittery candidate ever, but not the worst in either category. However, he could be the worst president ever, that's for sure, especially when he overturns every Obama achievement and turns the Supreme Court fully to the right for another generation.

Chez: I wrote a Banter piece this week that pondered whether Mitt Romney was one of the worst candidates the GOP has ever run. The thing is, I'm talking about him as a candidate -- not as a president. As I said in the column, Romney is an epically privileged former college bully and an established, unapologetic corporate raider who seems incapable of actual human empathy and who can't go a full week without telling at least a half-dozen lies -- this is the guy the Republicans have nominated for president during an era of unprecedented financial inequity in this country. I'm not saying he can't win -- only that he's a terrible, terrible candidate. The GOP leadership doesn't like him. The people for the most part don't like him. There isn't a Republican alive, aside from the asshole aristocracy just like him, who truly wants this guy to be his or her first choice to go to the prom. As for how he'd be as president, the issue is that he's the blankest of blank slates, completely shallow and superficial and without the slightest possession of a backbone; he would do whatever he was told to ingratiate himself to the Republican base and the super rich who elected him -- and that's a frightening thought.

Got a question for the mailbag? Email us at and we'll get to it next week!!